What is Mickey Drexler’s net worth and salary?
Millard “Mickey” Drexler is an American businessman who has a net worth of $200 million. In the 1990s Mickey was the CEO of Gap Inc., at a time when the company was peaking as a brand. He stepped down from The Gap in 2002. Mickey then served as the chairman and CEO of J. Crew Group from 2003 to 2017. From 1999 to 2015 Mickey Drexler was on the board of Apple Inc. In 2021 Mickey became the CEO of Alex Mill, a brand that was launched by his son.
Drexler’s biggest claim to fame comes from his work on the Gap brand. He is often credited with that label’s sudden rise to popularity during the 1990s, having masterminded the brand’s successful advertising campaign that among other things made use of the 1960s pop hit by Donovan “Mellow Yellow.” However, the Drexler era at Gap came to an abrupt end in the summer of 2002, when Drexler was fired by Gap founder Donald Fisher. The circumstances of Drexler’s firing remain unclear, but he was hired by J Crew soon after. With J Crew, the brand rose from a moderately priced brand to a much more upscale affair, a transition that is again being credited to Mickey Drexler – a man that seems to have a gift for turning struggling brands around.
Mickey was a longtime friend and confidante of Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs admired Drexler’s retail skills and followed his leads when launching the Apple Store. Mickey joined Apple’s board in 1999 and served through 2015. During his time on the Apple board, Mickey sold tens of millions of dollars worth of Apple share grants. He would have been wise to hold on to these shares, however. For example, in 2012 he netted $24 million from two transactions. Had he held on to those shares to today, they would be worth more than $250 million, not including the annual dividends he would have received as well.
Early Life and Education
Mickey Drexler was born as Millard S. Drexler on August 17, 1944 in the Bronx borough of New York City to Jewish parents. When he was 16, his mother passed away. For his education, Drexler went to the Bronx High School of Science, and then to the City College of the City University of New York. He then transferred to the University of Buffalo, from which he earned his Bachelor of Science. Drexler went on to obtain his Master of Business Administration from Boston University in 1968.
In the mid-70s, Drexler served as a vice president of merchandising at the department store Abraham & Straus in Brooklyn, New York City. He subsequently worked in executive positions at the department stores Bloomingdale’s, Ann Taylor, and Macy’s.
In 1983, Drexler joined the clothing and accessories retailer Gap. He was named the company’s president in 1987, and became its CEO in 1995. Before Drexler joined the company, Gap was a relatively diminutive chain; after he became involved, the company experienced a meteoric rise in popularity. Under Drexler, Gap transitioned to selling private-label brands, and became a substantial part of the popular culture via its series of expensive television commercials. Drexler also founded Gap Kids and the sister chain Old Navy during his tenure.
In 2002, Gap had become burdened by over-expansion and a 29-month sales slump; moreover, Drexler’s management style had been creating major tensions with the company’s founders, Donald and Doris Fisher. As a result, Drexler was forced to resign after 19 years of service at Gap. He was succeeded as CEO by Paul Pressler.
Following his resignation from Gap, Drexler was hired as the CEO and chairman of another clothing and accessories retailer, J.Crew. Applying similar business strategies that he utilized at Gap, Drexler worked to revamp J.Crew into an upscale boutique brand. In 2017, some 14 years after he began at the company, Drexler stepped down as CEO due to J.Crew’s several years of declining sales. A couple of years later, in early 2019, he resigned as the company’s chairman. However, Drexler remained at J.Crew as a strategic advisor to the board and the CEO.
After leaving J.Crew, Drexler founded his own firm, Drexler Ventures, which invests in and advises burgeoning brands. Through the company, he has invested in the athletic apparel brand Outdoor Voices and the online eyeglass and contact lens retailer Warby Parker. Drexler is the chairman of the former company, and sits on the board of the latter.
Among his other ventures, Drexler serves as the CEO of Alex Mill, a clothing brand launched by his son Alex in 2012. The company sells clothes and accessories for men and women.
Beyond his business ventures, Drexler has made some appearances in popular media. In 2013, he made a cameo appearance on the AMC television crime drama series “Breaking Bad,” playing a customer at a car wash in the fifth-season episode “Confessions.” According to Drexler, his scene took nine takes to get right.
In 1969, Drexler married author, psychologist, and documentary filmmaker Peggy. Together, they have a son named Alex.
In 2015 Mickey and his wife Peggy sold a property in the Hamptons enclave of Montauk for $50 million.
Over several months in 2017 the Drexlers paid $26 million for side-by-side waterfront properties on North Bay Road in Miami Beach. It boasts six bedrooms and seven-and-a-half bathrooms, plus a pool and a dock. One of the sellers was Calvin Klein. In August 2021 they paid $16.5 million for a third adjacent property, giving them a total of 1.3 acres with views of Biscayne Bay. Nearby celebrity neighbors include Dwyane Wade and Barry Gibb.
Previously, Drexler and his wife lived in a 5,500-square-foot, five-bedroom mansion in Idaho’s Wood River Valley. The alpine residence, designed by famed architect Thierry Despont in 2000, is sheathed in Montana moss rock and stands close to 60-feet high. In late 2019, Drexler listed the home for $10.9 million. The sold it in 2020 for right around their asking price.